Published: Monday, 21 August 2017 16:44
Written by Don Goulding
See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called Godʼs children - and indeed we are! 1 John 3:1
“Kiti, Don’t swing so high or you’ll fall,” I said.
My four-year-old Fijian pal arced the hammock back and forth on our porch. A few minutes later, whump, Kiti hit the ground. There was a pause while he gathered air to bellow out his pain.
I told you so was the last thing Kiti needed to hear. I scooped him up and comforted the lad. He sniffled and melted against my chest. Cuddling was his way of saying, “I need you to forgive me.”
Like Kiti, I need to be scooped up and forgiven. My soul yearns to be wrapped in acceptance by my Heavenly Father, in spite of my sinful past. No human can provide that kind of ultimate love. Perhaps maternal love for an infant is the closest parallel, but the mother’s failings and self-interest are mixed in. Only the LORD our God can give perfect love.
I have been loved deeply by my parents, children, wife, and friends. But it’s not enough and I refuse to stop there. I can’t be satisfied with temporal love, no matter how grand. It’s not perfect love. I must continue my search for full contact of my soul, drawing on the strength and protection of my God, resting against his unmarred beauty—that’s the love I pursue.
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, God’s perfect love begins now. I don’t have to wait until heaven to press against his joy and peace. The problem is I often allow lessor loves to satisfy me. I opt for what I can see and touch and miss out on the more filling love from my Creator.
The key is to use all earthly love as the means to love God more. Earthly love—love for family and friends—is only made holy when I acknowledge the source as God and give him praise. Everything else is idolatry.
Prayer: Father Above, move me into perfect love.
Published: Monday, 14 August 2017 15:25
Written by Don Goulding
… Jesus Christ, who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels and authorities and powers subject to him. (1 Peter 3:21-22 NET_FL)
The Light Bringing One, or Lucifer, wanted to replace Jesus at God’s right hand—the navel of all blessing and power. His first objective was the throne, and his second was to make us into his followers.
Lucifer fought God’s Son with cunning and cruelty. He exposed himself as Satan. Jesus also revealed his true heart when he bowed to the ordained slaughter. There was not much of a skirmish and Lucifer gloated.
Then God read out the rules. The throne would not go to the powerful but to the humble.
The first hint of light touched the Jerusalem sky, and the supreme coronation began. Jesus was resurrected. Following the ancient protocol, the King of Kings spent forty days making ready for his ascension to the throne at God’s right hand. He showed his living body to hundreds, strengthened his disciples, and enjoyed his friends. On the appointed day, he rose into the air and God anointed him into the seat above every dominion.
Having failed his first objective, Lucifer turned to his second, the capture of human souls. That battle rages on, but we may align ourselves with the reigning Jesus. All authority rests on the sacred right hand seat, so our union with Jesus bestows power over life to us, his followers. We have it all because of where he is seated.
Prayer: King Jesus, I kneel before your throne.
Published: Monday, 07 August 2017 15:30
Written by Don Goulding
“In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mere humans is possible for God.” (Luke 18:25-27 NET_FL)
Trembling and in tears, a pregnant woman came after the Sunday service in Ranipet, India. She had converted to Christianity and wanted prayer for protection from her husband and neighbors. Her community would do anything to prevent her from leaving Hinduism, including beating her and abducting her coming child.
I’ve also seen extreme persecution in communist China, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and southern Mexico. Every country has an eye of the needle—some significant obstacle to dependence on Christ. In wealthy countries, it’s materialistic complacency that will keep the majority out of heaven.
Given the incredible obstacles it seems impossible, like no one can make it to Christ, yet in every land God brings some through their needle. There’s not a hostile or hedonistic culture I have ministered in where I didn’t also find a thriving branch of the Christian family.
79,000 people convert to Christ each day somewhere in the world. 79,000 times a day God makes the impossible possible. No wonder Jesus tarries in his return. To him these are not statistics but individual eternal children. He celebrates as each one reaches beyond their antagonistic culture to crossover from death to life.
Prayer: Holy God, bring me through my impossible barriers.